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Sep 23, 2003 07:44 PM

Which Naan n Curry is the best?

  • k

Any opinions on which Naan n Curry is the best? We've only been to the one near Golden Gate Park and loved it. The Financial District location is a bit more convenient for us this time and we're wondering if it's just as good.

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  1. I actually like the one in Berkley. I was less than impressed by the one on O'Farrell, but I have not been to the other ones in SF.

    In my opinion, Pakwan (also on O'farrell) blows them both out of the water. Try the Tikki Massala.

    6 Replies
    1. re: dybbster

      Good suggestion - is Pakwan a decent environment to take small kids (2 and 4 years old)? I'm not comfortable taking them to Shalimar, at least the original one, as it doesn't seem like the best place for them to be playing about. The Naan n Curry I went to by Golden Gate Park though was fine for little ones.

      1. re: kaplan

        Pakwan is much cleaner and better lit than shalimar. I'd feel very comfortable bringing kids.

        The food is at least as good as Shalimar (maybe better?), the prices are as cheap, but without the third world ambiance.

        1. re: kaplan

          Also note that there is a great pakwan on 16th street between valencia and guerrero. quite delicious, clean and kid friendly too.

        2. re: dybbster

          Speaking of Tikka Masala:

          I was in the UK recently and learned that Chicken Tikka Masala is replacing fish & chips as the national dish and is also the most popular dish ordered in pubs. I tried the dish at several pubs and found it to be consistently delicious across the board.

          1. re: Wai Bong

            Yep, CTM is a distinctly British dish. If you poke through the thread linked below and the web of links within, you'll find a quote from Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, that is indeed the national dish.


          2. re: dybbster

            I think Chutney at the corner of Jones & O'Farrell is really the best. It is the least greasy of all the Indo-Pak restaurants in the area and has a fairly clean and decent dining room. There is a parking garage next door so you don't have to leave your car at the mercy of the rather colorful residents of the local neighborhood.

          3. w

            I've been to the Financial District location several times, and the Sunset/Irving one also many times, and there's not much difference, if any, in the quality of the food.

            The main difference is the atmosphere, with Sunset/Irving location being loud, relatively large and has at least some fabric and decorations on the walls. Financial District location, on the other hand, is pretty small, has far fewer tables and is sparsely decorated.

            If you're bringing kids, I'd suggest avoiding the lunch rush downtown, which tends to get pretty crowded. Dinner is the better time to go, as less noisy and crowded.

            Overall, though, the food has been consistently above-average (especially for the price) at both locations, whether lunch or dinner. Good, tasty food at reasonable prices.

            I particularly enjoy the Chicken Tikka Massala, Lamb Vindaloo, Garlic Naan (typically about the size of a large automobile steering wheel) and Mango Lassi. Getting hungry just thinking about it!

            Naan N Curry (Financial District)
            533 Jackson (near Columbus, just below Kearny)

            5 Replies
            1. re: wedgeheadjunkie

              Staying @ the Hilton on Kearney and read up on Naan N Curry here. It did not disappoint!

              Special Kadai Paneer ($7.99) has just a bit of heat and is in a delicious tomato/garlic/onion/ginger sauce.
              Garlic Naan ($1.50) has fresh roasted garlic and parsley and is crisp despite the transport back.
              Mango Lassi ($2.50) is cool and delicious and not too sweet. Missing the rosewater and pistachios I'm used to at my local Indian digs, but this will do nicely.

              Perhaps my eyes are bigger than my stomach, or I just overordered due to the prices, but I would definitely go back here again and recommend this for the lonely wayward travellers looking for a bit of (non roomservice) food to eat.

              1. re: secretgourmand

                I haven't eaten at Naan and Curry myself, but during a conversation about Pakistani food in SF, a taxi driver referred to Naan and Curry as the "McDonalds of Pakistani food." He preferred Shalimar (esp. the one on Jones) - I've only been to the one on Polk which I thought was good. Also Lahore Karahi, although we agreed that service was slow because the owner oversees and does much of the cooking himself - this clearly has a positive effect on the food though.

                In the Union Square neighborhood, the Naan and Curry on O'Farrell is right next to Sultan, and for lunch, Sultan is awesome. Dinner probably is too (though it's more pricey) but I haven't tried it.

                So if there is truly something excellent about Naan and Curry that is better than these other places, I'd sure like to try it. But prior to reading this post, I wasn't aware that there was!

                P.S. I ate at Pakwan on 16th St. once and i didn't see what all the fuss was about, although I have several friends who love it. Any englightenment about this place while we're at it?

                1. re: Dave MP

                  I've found the taste of the food from Pakwan to Pakwan to be less consistent than the taste of the food at the Naan and Currys. I have, however, always had my best Pakwan experiences at the one on O'Farrell. Part of it is that unlike at the 16th Street Pakwan, you can get roti at the O' Farrell outlet, but part of it also is that the food I've had there has been more fiery and less greasy.

                  1. re: Dave MP

                    The only thing I've found outstanding about Naan and Curry is the naan.

                    However, wo(man) can't live on naan alone.

                    1. re: rworange

                      I could almost live on the garlic naan at the Jackson St. branch!

                1. re: JohnnyP

                  Gotta disagree with you on this one. I've eaten at Darbar twice now (based on a recommendation I read on this board!) It's good, but it's salty and was dramatically under-spiced both times (despite asking for "spicy"). Atmosphere, presentation and price are all spot-on, but the food needs some work IMHO.

                  BTW My all-time favorite is still the Naan-n-Curry on Telegraph in Berkeley.

                2. So, shoulda gone to Pakwan. We ended up at Indian Oven for convenience sake, and I must say that, except for the fried calamari, it was very underwhelming. Definitely not as good as Naan n Curry, and not as good as my favorite in San Mateo (Nawab). The calamari was very nice, with a complex blend of spices you wouldn't expect to work so well with the calamari. Naan and paratha were fine, nothing special. Saag gosht - not bad, not great, the lamb was a bit bland. Chicken Madras - great spice level (we requested spicy on this one), nice juicy raisins, but the chicken wasn't so tender. Chicken Tika Masala - OK, nowhere near as good as NnC's, didn't leave you wanting to sop up every ounce of sauce with your naan as it should. Chana Masala - eh? not richly spiced enough.

                  Maybe as others have noted they dumb down the food too much for people who don't look the part (we had 3 kids with us), but we did specifically ask for spicy on the Madras so I thought that would help.

                  Oh well, live and learn.

                  1. t
                    The Dairy Queen

                    I don't know if this is an un-Chowhoundish remark, if so, forgive me, but the Irving N&C opened in my neighborhood relatively recently. I've been only once, and thought the food was fine, but I have to say, they aren't such a great "neighbor". The whole neighborhood smells strongly, and unpleasantly, of meat and smoke all the time, even early in the morning; the sidewalks in front (they permit dining on the sidewalk) are always dirty and greasy; and the crowds that form outside while waiting to be seated obstruct the sidewalk. I know I'm fortunate to have wonderful restaurants nearby, but I wish they'd work a little harder to fit in with the low-key character of the 'hood. As a resident, all of this, together with the fact that the place is loud and crowded, makes me reluctant to return or recommend it.